By Sara Karlovitch

The Drag Show, which is part of this university’s month-long Pride Month, featured performers from around the country, including the D.C. based Kings troupe, Pretty Boi Drag. Other performers included Jizzabella, Sapphira Cristal, Boudier Le Fleur and Bebe Zahara Benet. Bebe Zahara Benet is the winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 1.

Drag has a solid and prominent place in LGBTQIA+ culture, and has just recently began to go mainstream. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is well into its 10th season and SEE’s show attracted a mix of both straight and LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals.

Drag historian Joe E. Jefferys told Time magazine that “Drag is a theatrical form. Drag is anytime that someone is putting on clothing that is considered to be not appropriate to them, and then wearing it with some type of ironic distance.” According to the article, Drag has been linked to LGBTQIA+ culture since the 1930s.

SEE’s performance attracted people who have both attended drag shows before and newcomers.

Mel Bezandry, a junior engineering major, said this was their first drag show. They said they definitely want to attend another show in the future.

“I thought all the performances were amazing and I liked how interactive the Queens where with the audience,” Bezandry said.

Malavika Shukln, a senior bioengineering major, said this was her first drag show. “I think they were all wonderful,” Shukln said.

Alexander Miller, a junior, has been to performances before in D.C., and said he liked SEE’s show. “I just love the energy associated with drag shows,” Miller said.

SEE’s Drag Show served as a way to not only celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture, but also to expose it to people who would not have normally come in contact with it. As drag enters the mainstream, people outside of the LGBTQIA+ community have become more involved in the art form. Kings, while as old as drag itself, are just starting to gain more and more attention. Both cis and trans women are bending the traditional definition of drag.

As Jefferys told Time, “Drag is everybody’s art form.”

Featured Photo Credit: Bebe Zahara Benet performing at Stamp for SEE’s Drag Show as part of this university’s Pride Month (Sara Karlovitch/Bloc Reporter).

Sara Karlovitch is a sophomore journalism and government and politics major and can be reached at skarlovi@terpmail.umd.edu.

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